Spring 2021 - IS 808 G400

Special Topics in Governance and Conflict (4)

Feminist Solutions to End War

Class Number: 5828

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM



The two goals of this course are to study war and political violence from feminist perspectives and to examine what solutions these perspectives offer for ending or reducing war and political violence. The unit will cover a range of topics, including drones, military suicide, Black Lives Matter, nuclear weapons, and war photography. Whilst engaging with these important topics, students will gain a deep foundation in several theoretical traditions, including feminist, gender, queer, decolonial, black feminism, womanism, and Indigenous feminisms. A ‘deep’ foundation means engaging with primary theoretical texts and relating these texts to current issues related to war and political violence. Students taking this seminar will gain an in-depth knowledge of concepts such as militarism, militarization, securitization, decolonization, de-militarization, and human security.

Key questions that will be considered in the class include:
Do women experience, and participate in, war differently to men?
What kinds of gendered conflicts exist post-war?
How might a feminist understanding of security and securitization change defence, foreign policy, and national security priorities?
Are there actually solutions out there for ending or reducing war?

Course Delivery: This course will combine asynchronous and synchronous elements. Recorded lecture materials will be posted on Canvas. Required synchronous activities and/or discussions, will take place during the course’s scheduled meeting times (Thursdays 10:30am-12:20pm). These synchronous activities will require you to be online (on Zoom) for approximately one hour on average each week (with some variation); but you are required to be available for synchronous meetings any time during the two-hour class period. I will distribute a more detailed schedule for the synchronous activities in the first week of classes.


  • Essay proposal 15%
  • Major essay 35%
  • Lead class reading 15%
  • Attendance and participation 10%
  • Final exam 25%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.


This course will be delivered via online platforms, such as Zoom, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.

Students are required to have a computer, with a microphone, webcam, and speakers. They also must have good access to the Internet.

Microsoft Office is required, and a free version of Office 365 is available to SFU students here: https://www.sfu.ca/itservices/technical/software/office365.html.

Students will be required to upload assignments to Canvas and through Turnitin.com.



Required readings will be available on Canvas, online, or in the SFU Library’s electronic collection. 

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).